Not missing a beat, Caleb stated, “But I hope we don’t start Whizzpopping!”
“Don’t be Redunculus!” exclaimed Caitlyn. “We didn’t drink any Frobscottle.”
It had to happen.
Ever since Santa gave Caitlyn a copy of Matilda as a stocking filler, my kids have been hooked onto Roald Dahl books. We read The BFG earlier this week and ever since then, C2 & C2 have been speaking GOBBLEFUNK.
Yes, Gobblefunk. Glorious – or should I say – Gloriumptious Gobblefunk!
That’s what wordmeister Dahl called the language he crafted and created over 30 years ago – but which still had the power to captivate my kids today.
He invented these clever terms and phrases by taking a little bit of this and a little bit of that to concoct a whole new vocabulary of wondrous, witty words. It’s best expressed in The BFG – and my kids have been testing their Gobblefunk out at every chance they get!
Here are a few gems:
Ringbeller: The BFG’s word for an amazingly excellent dream; the complete opposite of a Trogglehumper (a nightmare).
Human beans: Human beings
Lixivate: Being squashed and turned into liquid at the same time.
The names of the Giants themselves are enough to give any child the heebie-jeebies: The Bloodbottler, The Bonecruncher, The Fleshlumpeater, The Childchewer, The Gizzardgulper…
Animals: Jiggyraffes (giraffes), cattypiddlers (caterpillars), hippodumplings (hippopotamus).
Take Caleb’s favourite: Whizzpopping. That’s Gobblefunk for – how do I put this politely? – farting!
“A whizzpopper!” cried the BFG, beaming at her. “Us giants is making whizzpoppers all the time! Whizzpopping is a sign of happiness. It is music in our ears! You surely is not telling me that a little whizzpopping is forbidden among human beans?”
“It is considered extremely rude,” Sophie said.
“But you is whizzpopping, is you not, now and again?” asked the BFG.
“Everyone is whizzpopping, if that’s what you call it,” Sophie said. “Kings and Queens are whizzpopping. Presidents are whizzpopping. Glamorous film stars are whizzpopping. Little babies are whizzpopping. But where I come from, it is not polite to talk about it.”
“Redunculous!” (ridiculous) said the BFG. “If everyone is making whizpoppers, then why not talk about it? We is now having a swiggle of this delicious frobscottle (a delicious drink) and you will see the happy result.” The BFG shook the bottle vigorously. The pale green stuff fizzed and bubbled. He removed the cork and took a tremendous gurgling swig.
“It’s glummy!”(yummy) he cried. “I love it!”
For a few moments, the Big Friendly Giant stood quite still, and a look of absolute ecstasy began to spread over his long wrinkly face. Then suddenly the heavens opened and he let fly with a series of the loudest and rudest noises Sophie had ever heard in her life. They reverberated around the walls of the cave like thunder and the glass jars rattled on their shelves. But most astonishing of all, the force of the explosions actually lifted the enormous giant clear off his feet, like a rocket.
“Whoopee!” he cried, when he came down to earth again. “Now that is whizzpopping for you!”
(Roald Dahl – The BFG; 1982)
Words. They have the power to hurt. They can cut to the core.
As the BFG himself says, “Words… is oh such a twitch-tickling problem to me all my life.”
So let’s take a page out of Dahl and focus instead on the positive power of words. To enchant and exhilarate. To inspire and stimulate. To delight and fascinate.
As the BFG always asks, “Am I right, or am I left?”
So tell me, have you ever read any Roald Dahl books? What’s your favourite?
Do you make up words yourself (for example, funny words instead of swear words)?
And finally, are you a loud Whizzpopper? 😉